By Esther Atani, The Sight News
“We admire the sacrifice of the Cuban people in maintaining their independence and sovereignty in the face of vicious imperialist-orchestrated campaigns to destroy the gains made in the Cuban Republic. We too want to control our own destiny.”
These were the timeless words of an iconic freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela, which set the tone for the 6th Cuba-Africa Regional meeting which began in the Yar’ Adua Centre in Abuja from Monday, 23rd September to Wednesday, 25th September 2019.
The conference was held to celebrate and reemphasize the solidarity and friendship ties between Cuba and Africa, to call for international support for Cuba and demand that the nation of Cuba be allowed her right of sovereignty; self determination and the right to pursue the political system of their choice.
In his welcome address, the President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba expressed appreciation for the tireless efforts of Cuba in freeing African nations from colonialism and attributed the level of freedom in the African continent to Cuban intervention.
He also applauded the post-colonial era interventions of Cuba, such as during the ebola virus outbreak in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone where Cuba did not hesitate to send in her medical personnel and medical kits and facilities to manage and halt the spread of the Ebola virus, saving countless African lives.
Meanwhile, he decried the lack of solidarity and love among African nations, citing the recent xenophobic and “afrophobic” attacks of Nigerians in South Africa, as a shameful event and challenged other African nations to learn the art of servant-leadership.
Also speaking the Minister for Science and Technology, Hon Ogbonnaya Onu charged Nigeria to emulate the spirit of self-reliance, compassion found in Cuba and provide leadership for Africa and Africans in diaspora.
He commended the NLC for their efforts in raising the consciousness of Nigerians to the efforts of Cuba in Nigeria and other African countries.
Furthermore, Comrade Femi Falana (SAN) called for the 60 year economic blockade placed on Cuba by US and her allies to be lifted and demanded that Nigeria as a whole, work towards the survival of the Cuban revolution as the best way to pay Cuba back for her countless contributions in the liberation of Africa.
Delegates from 29 African nations, prominent among them Ghana; Tanzania; Zimbabwe; Namibia; Sahara Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and South Africa pledged support for the Cubans and applauded the country’s continued growth and development despite the blockade placed on her by the US and its allies.